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The Wolf of Baghdad


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Guardian: Best Comics of 2020; The Owl Bookshop: Favourite Books

About the Author

Carol Isaacs is a musician and, as The Surreal McCoy, a well-known cartoonist published in the New Yorker, Spectator and Sunday Times. The Wolf of Baghdad is also an animated slideshow with its own musical soundtrack, which is often performed by a live band including Isaacs on accordion and keyboards, playing music of Iraqi and Judeo-Arabic origin. Carol has worked with many artists including Sinead O'Connor and the Indigo Girls. She is co-founder of the London Klezmer Quartet.


'Beautiful.' - Professional Cartoonists' Organisation. 'The graphics in this book are beautiful; muted and ghostly with a huge amount of depth. It clearly has been drawn and written with a great deal of passion and love. This book was an education for me, my knowledge in this area was ignorant at best and I especially appreciated the explanations and timelines provided in the back of the book to provide the reader with a bigger picture of Baghdad's Jewish history. A powerful, goosebump-inducing memoir. Highly recommended.' - Roachie's Reviews. 'Simultaneously timeless and topical, The Wolf of Baghdad is less a history lesson than a lament for a lost homeland and way of life: a wistful deliberation on why bad things happen and on how words pictures and music can turn back the years and make the longed-for momentarily real and true. [An] enthralling pictorial experience.' - Now Read This! by Win Wiacek, Comics Review. 'I never suspected I'll end up loving it as much as I did in a span of two hours ... I could not get enough of this memoir. I had a wonderful time soaking up the beautiful graphics and the few words which held so much power. I was left wanting for more. Heart-wrenching, breathtaking and deeply moving. The Wolf of Baghdad should be a mandatory read. It consumed me. I loved every single page.' - The Biblio Sara. '[A] skilful and saddening book.' - Mardean Isaac, Tablet magazine. 'Jewish life in Baghdad is brought vividly to life.' - Lyn Julius, Jewish Renaissance magazine. 'The Wolf of Baghdad by Carol Isaacs is a dazzling and transportive graphic memoir. an example of when pictures speak louder than words. The darker depiction of this ancient community's tragic demise reminds me of Picasso's harrowing Guernica painting at Reina Sofia in Madrid. It also triggered my memories of seeing the deeply moving ghetto children's paintings in the Jewish Quarter in Prague.' - Silver Linings and Pages 5/5 star review. 'A sobering read. Beautiful, haunting (literally at times) artwork.' - Lucia Gattuso. 'Stylistically I was at times minded of comic artists Simone Lia and Marjane Satrapi. This work succeeds in being as much a celebration of what has been sadly lost as it is an important and ever-timely reminder as to how it can all too easily and rapidly happen again if we allow hate to get the better of us.' - Page 45. 'As a personal narrative it's superb, you sink into it and it enfolds you with its magical charm. I was enchanted by this book.' - Eric Page, Gscene magazine. 'The illustrations are distinctly sensory. One feels, smells, hears, tastes, touches, and gasps along with Isaac on her time-bending journey. When the morning sun hits her face, it lights up a smile. One imagines the pleasure of a slight coolness before the air thickens under unkind temperatures. She follows the ghosts of the past, although they also seem to follow her in her nostalgic pursuit.' - Farah Abdessamad, Asian Review of Books. 'Isaacs' visual style is muted yet incisive, her textual minimalism allowing the images to breathe and linger... The Wolf of Baghdad tells a poignant and achingly familiar story.' - Anahit Behrooz, The Skinny. 'Told in mostly wordless imagery it's a cartoonist's recreation of a lost world. It's a story full of ghosts and regrets.' - Teddy Jamieson, Glasgow Herald. 'Beautifully drawn.' - Deidre Falvey, The Irish Times. 'One of my first brilliant reads this year. Fantastic.' - WordChild, Bookstagrammer. 'The Wolf of Baghdad is a fascinating look at the history of Jews in Baghdad...feeling akin to Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis for the way it uses simple characters and a very stylised black and white palette. The styling of some elements is wonderful and the use of the ghosts as representations of memory gives the book a very ethereal quality. The Wolf of Baghdad is a completely absorbing read.' - Pipedream Comics. 'The book is punctuated by quotes from family members to emphasize the changing times. Other than these occasional comments the entire narrative is wordless, relying on Carol's gift of visual storytelling. Despite the lack of words the emotion and tragedy are vibrantly apparent. Stories like this deserve to be told and read, connecting us all with a recent past that's so easily overlooked and at risk of being forgotten.' - Simon Chadwick, The Cartoonists' Club. 'A revelatory graphic treatment.' - Morning Star. 'The Wolf of Baghdad is an amazing achievement, a brilliantly and appropriately mute navigation through the dreamscape of recorded and recovered memory, both haunting and devastatingly haunted.' - Martin Rowson. 'A tour de force-the moving story of the destruction of a community seen through the eyes of an Iraqi Jew-and a wolf. The most exciting animated audio-visual experience since Persepolis.' - Harif on performances of The Wolf of Baghdad. 'A brilliant and truly transporting piece of work.' - JW3 on performances of The Wolf of Baghdad. 'A beautiful, startling piece of work, and a valuable contribution to the literature on the experiences of Jews in Arab lands. It's a portrait of a disappeared world.' - Jennifer Lipman, The Jewish Chronicle. 'Although the narrative is entirely wordless, crystal clear and powerful, Isaacs has interspersed her story with brief personal testimonies that explain certain details, give a rough chronology, and offer a poignant perspective on events. This is a clever complement to the beautifully drawn storytelling of the visual images. This stands as testimony for the dead and the displaced, a voice that needs to be heard. Remarkably concise and moving.' - Paul Burke, NB magazine. 'Moving, powerful and beautifully drawn. The long-gone, silent ghosts in Carol Isaacs' The Wolf of Bagdad tell their story more eloquently and vividly than if they were still alive.' - Steven Appleby. 'Enthralling and moving. It is magical.' - Claudia Roden. 'This isn't a book that you read. It's one where you actually fall inside the story. It's wonderful.' - Sandi Toksvig. 'Shaun Tan's The Arrival meets Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis. Interspersed with prose testimony and reminiscence, this dialogue-free graphic novel about the author's imagined return to a Jewish Baghdad populated by ghosts is a moving reconstruction of a lost society, suffused with a longing for a home that never was.' - Evans, Goodreads. 'Book Club: Carol Isaacs's stunning graphic novel The Wolf of Baghdad is a vivid journey into the history of Iraq's Jewish community.' - The New Arab, Bookstagrammer. 'Reading this graphic novel is quite an experience... in short, it is a graphic novel I highly recommend reading while listening to the music!' - She Reads Sox, Bookstagrammer. '

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